Well, i hope this doesn't sound too half baked, but i started thinking about the usefullness of tool reviews - how i always find them interesting, but rarely usefull, mostly because i'm not much of a consumer of new stuff. My shop is filled with tools much older than i am. Mostly, i read new tool reviews to see what's "current" for tablesaws, scraping planes, or what have you. I do own some new tools, but have thriftily assembled my shop over the years by acquiring mostly used equipment. I'm not too proud to dive a dumpster.
So, i thought i'd throw out the offer to review some of the old stuff in my shop for anyone interested. Now, mind you, i've got limited experience with tools and machines other than what i own, but i'll give my opinions of the various aspects of using these things if anyone happens to be looking at the same older equipment. I've not got a comprehensive list by any means, but i've also cylcled through a fair amount of used "junk" tools that weren't made very well or had weird design foibles. Those tools don't stick around my shop (with very little exception). Just because it's old, doesn't mean it was made well, though a lot of the stuff that survived the past 60 or 100 years stood the test of time for good reason. There was a lot of lesser stuff available that found it's way to a landfill in the mean time.
So, here's what i've got to talk about:
1) Walker Turner 900 series floor model 15" drill press with custom table lift. I occassionally use it with the mortising attachment or a sanding spindle.
2) Makita 14" miter saw
3) Walker Turner J24 scroll saw - rebuilt last year.
4) JD Wallace "Workace" benchtop shaper - rebuilt a couple of years ago
5) Bradley 17" band saw (old C frame about 100 years old) - rebuilt 6 years ago.
6) Cresent 20" band saw - early 1930's model - mechanical rebuild last year
7) Inca model 510 jointer/planer combo machine - 10-3/8" cutting width - ready to run when i got it
8) Atlas grinder/hone model 510 - worked when i got it
9) Makita wet grinder model 9810-2 - worked fine when i got it
10) Craftsman (King Seeley made) 4" jointer - mechanical rebuild 5 years ago
11) General International left tilt 10" contractor's table saw w/ General fence (Biesemeier clone) - new a few years ago
12) Jet DC650 dust collector with Wynn Environmental cannister filter upgrade - worked when i got it - upgraded the filter
13) Grob EB-1 band saw blade brazer - worked when i got it
14) i rebuilt and used an Atlas 3020 8" table saw - no longer have it but know it well
15) i rebuilt and used an Atlas 15" bench mount drill press - again, i don't have it any more, but know it well
16) I helped my dad with an old Buffalo camelback drill press - 15 inch model - flat belt drive. I have used it at his shop.
17) Delta 8" Junior Unisaw - general clean up and tune up this past year.
18 & 19) On the resto list are my FE Reed lathe - it's a little one (9" swing - 30" btwn centers) and is an old flat belt drive, and a Delta 24" scroll saw from the late 1940's or early 1950's.
20) shop built air cleaner made from an off-the-shelf attic fan and furnace filters. Some may argue its worthlessness, but it collects a lot of dust and can clear a cloud in the shop in short order.
21) my electrolysis set up - plenty of room for improvment, but it works for me.
1) standard arsenal of iron hand planes - Stanley 220 standard angle block, Veritas low angle block, Stanley 140 skew angle block (revived from rust by our own Travis Johnson), Stanley #2, Stanley #4 (WWII era), Record SS #4, Stanley #40 scrub plane, Stanley #4 converted to scrub plane, Keen Kutter K5 jack plane, Stanley #7 corrugated, Veritas medium shoulder plane, Kunz #112 scraper plane, Stanley #78 fillet/rabet plane, Veritas low angle smoother plane, Kunz squirrel tail block, various aftermarket replacement blades and chip breakers (Hock, Lie Nielsen, Cliffton)
2) measuring / marking tools - veritas marking knife, Marples marking gage, Shop Fox marking gage, Johnson tri-square, Gladstone 6" rule, Starrett 6" rule, Gladstone 4" fractional dial caliper, Federal dial indicator, Federal adjustable indicator base, Shinwa sliding T bevel
3) Sharpening tools - King combination water stone, grey side clamping sharpening guide, Veritas sharpening guide, sandpaper/glass/etc. for using scary sharp method, a couple of clamp on saw vises, Crescent saw jointer, old Craftsman saw set
4) Cutting tools - Loose assortment of chisels picked up from various estate sales and flea markets - everything from yellow plastic handled Stanleys and hardware store brands to Stanley 750, Swan, Buck, and other socket chisels. Disston #14 back saw, Japanese Dozuki saw (hafta check on the brand - the only English on the package or saw is "made in Japan"), Disston #7 - one sharpened for crosscut, another sharpened for rip cuts
5) power tools - older Milwaukee 14.4 v drill, Hitachi 1/2" hammer drill, Makita 1/4 sheet sander, Porter Cable 5" ROS, Dremel multi-tool with a bunch of accessories, Fein Multi-Master, Milwaukee heat gun, old Milwaukee sawzall, old Craftsman router with biscuit cutter attachment, Skil (older all metal model) jig saw, Bosch jig saw, Dewalt 3/8" drill, Bostitch 15 gage angled finish nailer, Porter Cable 18 gage brad nailer
6) other miscelaneous stuff like a Veritas brass/wood headed mallot, Wilton woodworking vise, B&D Workmate, Coleman "Black Max" air compressor, various clamps like Bessey, Irwin, Jet, Harbor Freight, Jorgensons, old bar clamps, North Brothers bit brace, Millers Falls #2 and #5 eggbeater drills (the ultimate cordless drills for drilling small holes), Yankee screw drivers, Millers Falls push drill, etc.
I always thougth it would be interesting if some of the new tool reviews included an old tried and true workhorse in the lineup for a "benchmark", but i know it would be fairly arbitrary which old clunker to match up to the new dogs.
My reviews would not be scientific, but would offer a general assessment on ease of set up, use, ergonomics, strengths, weaknesses, durability, etc. They may be useful for people expanding their shops on a shoe string budget like i did. If you are interested in any of the equipment i listed, just ask and i can give a quick run down of my experiences.